|Snow-covered trees in the East Village|
time of year, avoid the mall. Instead, spend your holiday cash right in one of New York’s funkiest downtown neighborhoods—the one and only East Village. After
all, downtown is where finding that quirky something couldn’t be easier. Here
are nine affordable gift suggestions for funky fellows and finicky females.
cute bag ($46) from Love Shine is
just one of about twenty different styles of fabric bags that are made by hand
at this popular neighborhood shop. Since they are designed in-house, you can
get one personalized in the fabric of your choice. Choose from dop kits and
classic messenger, duffel, and cosmetic pouches all made from durable,
all-weather oilcloth. While you’re there, check out the shop’s other fun wares,
from hand-knit sweaters/gloves to jewelry and art pieces sourced by local
designers. Love Shine is located at 543 ½ East 6th Street (Between
Avenues A and B), (212) 387-0935.
and artist Peggy Yunque delivers some of the city’s most unique jewelry items
at The Shape of Lies, a tiny boutique that’s been serving quirky New Yorkers since 1979. We love her collection of rings
and necklaces ($110) made from Sterling silver souvenir spoons. Ask Peggy to
show you her other collections, too, like the “Live Dangerously, Stay Lucky”
line. The Shape of Lies is located at 127 East 7th Street (between Avenue A
and First Avenue), (212) 533-5920.
downtown holiday shopping excursion would be complete without a stop at Kiehl’s, one of the city’s oldest cosmetic
pharmacies. Stop in to see all the pretty (and pre-wrapped!) gift sets for men,
women, or babies, but be sure to check out the limited edition Crème de Corps
line ($29.50-$75) designed by artist Kenny Scharf. Filled with the intensely rich
moisturizer, each is wrapped in the playful designs Scharf made famous. Plus we
love the “Squirt” ($50) a limited edition double-sided Scharf sculpted
collectible that comes with a signed certificate. Kiehl’s is located at 109
Third Avenue (corner of 12th Street), (212) 677-3171.
been adding to own collection of everyday white wear with items from Fishs Eddy 212 Skyline line for at least a
decade now, but the most prized dishes in the cabinet are the ones that do
double (or triple) duty, like these oversized 18 oz. jumbo cups. Great for
soup, cereal, cappuccino, or stew, they come in a handy, pre-boxed double pack
perfect for gift giving ($19.43). Fishs Eddy is located at 889 Broadway (at 19th
Street, just north of the East Village), (212) 420-9020.
holidays come only once a year, so it’s safe to indulge. For an elegant hostess
or co-worker gift, why not give chocolate from Bond Street Chocolates. We are
addicted to these hand-made dark chocolate tiles that are artfully decorated
and infused with a hint of coffee ($8 boxed). Bond Street Chocolates is located at 63 East 4th
Street (between Second Avenue and Bowery), (212) 677-5103.
another sweet choice, and one that also supports a great cause, pick up a few
holiday gift tins at the Lower
Eastside Girls’ Club Sweet Things Bake Shop ($25). Each comes with a
selection of cookies and a fair trade chocolate bar and a blank card to express
your holiday wishes. The Sweet Things Bake Shop is located at 136 Avenue C (near
9th Street), (212) 982-1633.
a gift for the stylish young man, be sure to visit Odin, the tiny but practical men’s
boutique that showcases everything for the modern metrosexual. As always, find
a seasonal selection of outerwear, hats, boots, pants, and shirts in classic
and elegant styles. And if your boyfriend, best friend, uncle, partner, or
hubby is anything like mine, you’ll want to grab a bunch of these gorgeous
striped socks ($25). Odin is located at 328 East 11th Street (between First and Second Aves.), (212) 475-0666.
unite! While we have nothing against the Kindle club, no holiday is truly
special until we get or give a handsome art book. This year, our favorite has
to be Building Stories ($50), the
amazing create-your-own-story box set by artist and graphic designer Chris
Ware. Better still, if you buy your book in one of New York’s best independent
booksellers, St. Mark’s Books,
you’ll be supporting one of the city’s last art book dealers. St. Mark’s Books
is located at 31 Third Avenue (corner of Ninth Street), (212) 260-7853.
love novelty shops and our East Village favorite is none other than Exit 9, the gift emporium with something
for everyone. Stop in to find tons of fun stocking stuffers, but the best value
for the money has got to be these powerful Minor Marshall Headphones ($59),
complete with microphone and cell remote. Trust us, they’re much better than
those worn out ear buds. Exit 9 is located at 51 Avenue A (near 4th
Street), (212) 228 0145.